Three weeks after, I am here again, in Wuppertal. Several months ago, Alan Lucien Øyen was still unknown for me. I had occasion to discover his universe at Chaillot for two creations: Simulacrum and Kodak. I like his sensitivity but the feeling was mixted. Unfortunately, the feeling stays the same for this new creation.
The theme is great: death/lost. He managed well the balance between dance and theater. He found a remarkable Helena. He made a scene for both Julie and Rainer. He…
Probably his explicitness limits imagination. The scenography is full of details. I had impression of sitting in a Hollywood filming studio: an apartment is an apartment, a shop is a shop, a bed is a bed. In Kodak, I also found the strong influence of cinematography on Øyen’s style but the stage was much cleaner.
Then the texts are complex. If I remember well, every dancer spoke. Julie is outstanding as usual while Rainer is certainly more comfortable with his dance (his debut and ending are incredible). Alan made a mélange of English, German, French, Korean, etc. Sometimes the same text is spoken twice, in German and in English. Sometimes he let non-German audience lost for a while (when Tsai-Chin sitting with Andrey in a shop). Is it necessary? Is it the best solution? Why not use subtitles?
Regarding Nazareth that everyone loves, it is the first time that I didn’t see her 100% confident on stage. Mr. Øyen maintained her stereotype roles without substantiality behind and some texts even don’t match her style.
Emotions are trapped in this four-hour (one intermission included) piece overloaded with details and words. All dancers do experience something else and they do give some memorable moments but the dramaturgy definitely needs to be simplified and concentrated before it becomes a classic stück.